Thursday Morning Mashup: Fancy Stats to the Rescue

Thursday Morning Mashup: Fancy Stats to the Rescue

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As most of you know, we usually have the Leafs Roundtable on Thursday morning and it’s something we plan, and hope, to continue with in the future. I love asking questions but sometimes the lull of the off-season, and the breadth of analysis in our blogging community, leaves you with a limited number of questions and in a state of psychosis (probably induced by my finals). Now, all this is going to change as the 2013 Entry Draft approaches and we’ve still got tons of Player Reviews and NHL Draft Profiles lined up for you guys, so stay tuned.

Today, I wanted to talk briefly about one of the links posted below regarding the Oilers Hackathon 2.0. To summarize, “the Hackathon 2.0 saw Oilers open up their vault of in-depth and historical data, welcoming contestants to submit their own analyses and present a compelling case to help the club win games.” In effect, the final analysis should yield insights that can help the team win. The contest’s winner, Michael Parkatti, used a combination of advanced stats (Corsi Rel QoC, QoT, and Zone Starts) to come up with a “Coaching Activity Index,” and will now join the Oilers’ Analytics Working Group on a full- or part-time basis.  For more details regarding his “winning” framework, check out the link below.

Let me start off by saying that I think this is a great way to engage the fan base. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen another NHL team conduct a public competition such as this, although please correct me if I’m wrong.  Imagine, for a second, having access to MLSE’s vault of statistical data and to glean into all the statistical metrics they maintain on their players.  As a bit of a data junkie, it would be a dream come-true for me, and would probably be more exciting than watching a game from one of the ACC suites.

On the other hand, I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds it slightly amusing, and not surprising, that a team like the Oilers is reaching out to fans for ideas on how to win.  Look, I’m all for capturing every competitive advantage and I believe advanced statistics has its place in the analytical toolbox.  Then again, this Analytics Working Group has been operational since the 2004-2005 lock-out and apart from their Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2006, the Oilers’ record has been laughable ever since. (As a Leafs fan, I know I’m not one to talk…but I seem to have misplaced the fucks I used to give.) This isn’t meant to discount Parkatti’s work in any way, and by all accounts it was an extremely thorough and creative model that he put together.  However, if an organization thinks that a fan might literally possess the winning formula they’re looking for, I think they’re delusional and should consider scrutinizing other parts of their organization.

Also, I just wanted to say how awesome I think the commenters are at MLHS. In the last couple of months, I’ve learned so much just from reading your insightful posts. With this new commenting system, it makes engaging in the thread a much more enjoyable experience and I look forward to talking with you guys. In that same vein, I want to hear what you guys think.

What would you think if MLSE organized a similar competition? Would you participate? Do you think it’s a worthwhile exercise?

– – –

Morning Links

Oilers: Hackathon 2.0 Winner Announced –  Hackathon: can also be used to describe the Oilers’ season.

CBC: MLSE Inks Education Deal with U. of Windsor – If you go to U. of Windsor, I hate you.

Larry Brooks (NYP): Tortorella’s Act Wore Thin on Players – I bet somewhere deep inside, Brooks is going to miss Torts.

Vancouver Sun: Rielly Says Eakins Ready to Coach at Next Level – Not to be a dick, but I wonder what Rielly knows about the next level…certainly more than I do!

VLM: Leafs Should Learn from B. Richards Saga – A cautionary tale for Nonis & Co.

TLN: Leafs Have Good Value in Reimer and Scrivens – One word: Screimer.

PPP: Relationship Between Top-6 TOI and Shooting % – Fancy, fancy stats, so my kind of stats.

A graduate student at Columbia University, Aaron is defined by a love of nature, an intense interest in finance, and a passion for the Blue & White. Toronto born and raised, earliest Leaf memories include emulating Joe Bowen calls and carpet mini-stick during HNIC. Former D1 NCAA Tennis player. Aaron can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mapleleafmuse.
380 comments
Brittish Columbia
Brittish Columbia

@mapleleafmuse Funny I didn't actually read this earlier. I guess I just miss you, so I decided to churn up your pieces. Anyhow, I think outsourcing is a good idea. Remember I told you about Goldcorp? And who is to say that the fan base doesn't possess intellectual gems?

To sum up: It's a nice idea to get the fans involved and find a passionate individual to do that job, but obviously it should only be one ingredient in the salad of success.

Now I go to die by piano

Zep2
Zep2

@rustynail Murphy can't differentiate between ballsy and bullshit . That was a horrible call and Im sure all the suits in the NHL had tight sphincters  until Seabrook scored. 


Aaron Chan
Aaron Chan

Next Player Review going up now guys.

rustynail
rustynail

Gino Reda ‏@GinoRedaTSN

6m

Just spoke with Mike Murphy, Sr Vp Hockey Ops, says Walkhom "absolutely made the ballsy correct call...and will definatley work Conf Finals"

phaneufoundlander
phaneufoundlander

Boys, what the heck is going on here? Did we lose our status and post count?

vesku35
vesku35

Where's today's Player Review, dammit! I'm entitled!

leafmealone
leafmealone

It's been a blast. Enjoy your afternoons people.

DWCMLHS
DWCMLHS

I wonder if the Blues are going to move out any Dmen this summer. They added Bouwmeester and Leopold at the deadline, and while Leopold is a UFA, Bouwmeester still has one more year left on his contract. He makes a ton of money, and Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk are both going to be asking for big money this summer. 

Komas Taberle
Komas Taberle

Colorado could draft MacKinnon, then trade Statsny to us for Gunnarson.

We then trade or buy out Grabo, Trade Liles. Let Mac walk, buy out Komi .Give 3.5M to Bozak and add Scuderi as a UFA and add Clarkson as a UFA and bring up ranger

JVR Statsny Kessel

Lupul Kadri Clarkson

Frattin Bozak Kulemin

Komarov McClement Orr

McLaren

Phaneuf Scuderi

Gardiner Franson

Fraser Ranger.

Reimer

Scrivens

wendelsfist
wendelsfist

I was looking team Fenwick Close for this season.  It ranks leafs 29 out of 30th and the NJD 3rd out of 30 teams.  Yet the leafs made the playoffs and the other didn't.  I think the advanced stat narrative is the leafs had "good luck" and the Devils had bad luck.   Another surprising team is the Penguins that finished 15 out of 30th.   


Basically if I accept advanced stats, I'm to believe that 

  1. Penguins are an "average team" (lol)
  2. NJD are an elite top 3 NHL team  (just as funny)
  3. Leafs are bottom dwellar with the sabres and oilers (I'm a homer but that is ridiculous).

These are the three biggest discrepancies on the list, but they are so wildly wrong that it becomes difficult to accept advanced stats can be reliable and trusted in ranking which teams are more likely to win.  


Leafs rule
Leafs rule

Cause he is made of steel no doubt lol,and he imho plays a smart game

mr_hanie
mr_hanie

Lindy Ruff is a smart man. He will go to the team with the best goalie. Probably Rangers. NHL coaches have a longer shelf life, with good goalies.

bartlett22
bartlett22

I really  like this new system!

peterbleafs
peterbleafs

Awesome a fresh start, I want AndrewR to return and make a glorious re-entrance

mr_hanie
mr_hanie

Patrick Roy is still a hero, in Colorado, and he will be coach as long as he wants to....similar to Wayne Gretzky  was in Phoenix

peterbleafs
peterbleafs

so how do we migrate our old accounts to here?

Dangle_My_Berries
Dangle_My_Berries

I really like this new system so far, seems to run smooth as butter and that little notification menu on the bottom right adds a nice dimension to the interface. Is this the custom system Alec and Co. were working on? or a different variant of what's on the market right now?

Great Dane
Great Dane

Roy may trade the first overall pick - what should we offer ?

leafmealone
leafmealone

So no player reviews today? What's up...after Bozak's review crashed the place the powers that be pulled today's planned review of Grabo?

mr_hanie
mr_hanie

Pens-Buins will be an interesting matchup. Crosby vs. Chara, Malkin vs. Chara.....Chara will have to play 40 minutes

mcloki
mcloki

Ryder not being re upped by Montreal. Says rumours.

Dangle_My_Berries
Dangle_My_Berries

i gotta develop a bot that randomly posts on here 24/7 so I can get my post count up to where it was.... I feel sooo newbieish

Cloud09
Cloud09

Seems to work fine on the phone as well.

Mind Bomb
Mind Bomb

Up To 77 of us Now, and I know who you ARE !!!!

Cloud09
Cloud09

I'm also guessing our old post totals are gone??

Cloud09
Cloud09

So how is the new toy working out?

TML__fan
TML__fan

Seems to work much better!

mcloki
mcloki

What does ‘Number of people listening’ over the Livefyre comment box mean?Last Updated: Sep 10, 2012 03:10PM PDT

The number of people listening indicates the total number of users who are following that conversation and the number of people currently live on the page at that exact moment that you are also viewing the page.

hometeem
hometeem

i cant sign in with disquis anymore?

Leafs rule
Leafs rule

Ok Im lost again the window at the bottom right shows post and the main screen doesnt ,still lookin and no Its not jimmy lmao its Jim the .......

Mind Bomb
Mind Bomb

You know Guys I like that this system shows how many people are listening, 65 right now. I just wish that you could click and see exactly what 65, instead of just the couple you see now. 

Pretty cool Feature 

Mattmark
Mattmark

Aaron, I'm not sure how many of us here are competent at performing that kind of statistical analysis, and I'm not persuaded of the value of it anyway.  Handicappers are always perusing the stats in racing forms, in the hope that if only they crunch the data properly they can extrapolate who the future winners will be.  Well, it keeps them trekking to the betting windows but it doesn't work.  Naturally not.  Every step into the future is a step into the unknown; stats are always historical.  You can look at past history all you want, but every number you add to the end of a number series has the potential to change the meaning of the series... and the future never discloses what numbers it's about to add.  Statistical analysis only works backward, not forward, which is one reason economists and prognosticators can never tell us where we're going no matter how much data they crunch.

Great Dane
Great Dane

All this stats  and I am a econometrician  is not the Holy Grail. 

Around any statistical forecast there is confidence interval. In this interval you can't statistically say if one forecast is more correct than another.

Shot for vs shot against example: If shot difference is +/- 2 shot per game - you can't say anything.

But if the difference is 10 shots per game - well of course it matters.